In the second season of American Idol, Ruben Studdard won the singing competition show and Clay Aiken placed second. Since competing on the show, Studdard and Aiken have reunited multiple times for different performances. The two singers will also be making an appearance during the upcoming season 21 finale of American Idol.
Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard will appear on ‘American Idol’
Season 21 of American Idol premiered on ABC on Feb. 19. This year, Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan all returned as judges. Ryan Seacrest is once again the host of the show.
Initial audition dates took place and were filmed in the fall of 2022. The first five episodes of the 21st season will capture the different auditions.
Following the auditions, there are different rounds of eliminations followed by semi-finals, finals, and the season finale.
Because American Idol consists of some episodes airing live, not a lot is known about the new season. However, Aiken and Studdard will reportedly be present for the season finale.
According to Collider, “Before a new American Idol is crowned, Season 2 winner and runner-up Reuben Studdard and Clay Aiken have already announced their plans to perform on the Season 21 finale, among other surprises to top off the season.”
Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken competed on ‘American Idol’
The second season of American Idol aired on Fox from January 21, 2003, until May 21, 2003. Studdard and Aiken were both popular contestants on the show and made it to the season finale.
In fact, Studdard and Aiken were both so popular that the margin of votes between them is the smallest margin of any of the show’s winners and runner-ups.
According to Entertainment Weekly, “50.28 percent of the 24 million voters had picked the winner versus 49.72 percent for the runner-up, actually result in a difference of about 134,000 votes.”
To this day, fans of American Idol remember how intense the season 2 finale was because it was hard to predict who would win.
“It was basically a statistical tie with one quarter of one percent between them and within the margin of error. They should have been declared co-winners,” one fan wrote on Reddit in 2020.
“The Finale was tight. Paula, Simon and Randy did not know who would win,” another fan wrote on Reddit.
Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken are friends
During American Idol, Studdard and Aiken formed a close friendship and remained friends after the show. The two have performed at different concert events together and even put on a Broadway Christmas show together in 2018.
In February 2023, Studdard and Aiken appeared on The Tamron Hall Show. While on the show, the two singers discussed their friendship and careers.
“I think the producers of our season in particular did a great job of making us feel like family and building a family environment so that the reactions that we had when somebody would leave would be authentic,” Studdard explained on the talk show.
“We also lived together on our season, which hasn’t happened since,” Aiken added.
There is no doubt American Idol fans will be excited to see Studdard and Aiken perform together on the show again.